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AltspaceVR Shutting Down!

KevinakiKevinaki Posts: 222
Nexus 6
Here's the email message:

It is with a tremendously heavy heart that I let you all know that we are closing down AltspaceVR on August 3rd, 7PM PDT. The company has run into unforeseen financial difficulty and we can’t afford to keep the virtual lights on anymore. This is surprising, disappointing, and frustrating for every one of us who have put our passion and our hopes into AltspaceVR. We know it will probably feel similarly for you. 

You’ve made AltspaceVR one of the best places to be in VR (or on the internet). I won’t try to write down all of the memories that are flooding my heart right now of all of the laughter, puns, fun and friendliness that existed in this community. There have been spontaneous concerts, new friendships, marriages, surprise serenades (looking at you Shoo Shoo!) and too many warm hugs from Claire to count. We hosted so many firsts! And we still have the record for most people in VR at one time (were any of you there at Reggie’s first performance?). We’ve also seen so many community members come into their own and host karaoke nights, improv, movie nights and meetups for people all across the globe. 

We are all humbled by what you made of this virtual oasis. Thank you for spending your time building, hosting, and making the best community we could have wished for. Please take the next week to make sure those connections live on past AltspaceVR. Because if you do, then what we built will really live on. 

There have been many tears and there will probably be a few more to come. I’ve given up wiping off the mist that clouds my headset. Please join us for a final farewell party on 8/3. At the end of the party, we will be shutting down AltspaceVR. 

AltspaceVR will officially close down on Thursday, August 3rd @ 5-7pm PT. Please make sure to meet up with any friends before then to be able to stay in touch.

You can save all of your photos and friends list by going to https://account.altvr.com/events and clicking "Friends" and "Photos". Click CTRL + S on PC or CMD + S on Mac. Make sure it says "Webpage complete". The full sized images will be downloaded.  

For more information about this sad news, please visit our blog. 

- Keegan

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Comments

  • theicephoenixtheicephoenix Posts: 3
    NerveGear
    Just as I purchased my rift :( are their any alternatives?
  • KevinakiKevinaki Posts: 222
    Nexus 6
    @theicephoenix there's:
    I actually thought Altspace VR was going to be around for a while...
  • JustJohnVRJustJohnVR Posts: 51
    Hiro Protagonist
    Many of us from that community are pretty bummed.  Unsure where we'll be deviating out towards, but it's really the fact that it was the only good multi-platform social platform for VR (before anyone says otherwise, vTime is junk), so our community that consisted of PC-VR, phone VR, phone 2D, and computer 2d individuals will be broken up.
  • vannagirlvannagirl Posts: 2,020 Valuable Player
    edited July 2017
    This is sad to see someone go, i have never tried this but i hear good things and seen their stream videos of Reggie.

    Also was a follower of Cymatic Bruce on a Sunday streaming all the latest VR demos etc before he went here to work so i hope they all manage to go on in VR somehow



    Also, before Kevin somehow turns it into a story about Oculus :/

    (Oculus is the one driving ) ;)

    Look, man. I only need to know one thing: where they are. 
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,661 Valuable Player
    Very nice @vannagirl
    That GIF looks about right. Spot on, really!

    I didn't use AltSpace much, but I did think that the app was well made. It was a great piece of VR Software for those who purchased the Rift upon release. It helped show early adopters of the CV1 exactly what the future entails. Other social VR app's will take the lead someday soon. In the meantime, I'm sure the members of the AltSpace team will move on to bigger and better things.
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  • vannagirlvannagirl Posts: 2,020 Valuable Player
    Yes me too, it sucks losing your job and i imagine one you love it is much much worse

    Good luck to all @Altvr
    Look, man. I only need to know one thing: where they are. 
  • MradrMradr Posts: 4,178 Valuable Player
    edited July 2017
    I think the team over at AltSpace should apply for a job with Oculus to continue adding their ideas to the community as a whole still. Not sure if Oculus is looking into hiring or not - by this I do mean the Facebook Spaces. Would be neat to see the team continuing working on something they really wanted to have happen.

    I like projects like these, but they will butt spaces once more and more start to make their own pretty quickly for the limited amount of users at this time. I do wonder why this project had problems though with money? I think it would've been a great place for ads to be display allowing a small trickle of cash flow to come in for up keep on the servers.

    That or look into other sources of income with small transactions. Then again, it took I think the game was call Second Life(?) a long time to get right in the first place for the same idea. A social land escape for people.
  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 6,196 Volunteer Moderator
    It's a shame to see AltSpaceVR shutting down. I haven't used it in a while, but I did go to that first Reggie Watts event, and it was my first experience of hanging out with a large group of people in VR.
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  • kojackkojack Posts: 6,915 Volunteer Moderator
    The avatars really needed better customisation.
    But it was still an interesting program.

    I used to enjoy it when Vive owners would show off their hand tracking to rift owners, then I'd slide past with my leap motion tracking. :)
    That's one thing it did fairly well, supported a bunch of hardware like Leap Motion and Perception Neuron.

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  • KevinakiKevinaki Posts: 222
    Nexus 6
    I've always had a good time every time I stepped into Altspace and it's a shame that it won't be around anymore. Even though I haven't spent a lot of time in there it's one of those apps that I don't want to see go away and would even pay a monthly/annual subscription to help keep it up. Sadly, there are people that think everything should be FREE so I'm sure even if the thought crossed their minds at Altspace they wouldn't mention it publicly. 

    Like @kojack mentioned, it did a great job of supporting Leap Motion and although I haven't tried it with the Perception Neuron yet I still have a few more days to try it for the first and last time.
  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 7,937 Valuable Player
    I'm surprised this hasn't taken off given you only need a Samsung Gear VR to run it and a compatible phone. I used to use it with my Rift, I found some good friends on it, but there never seemed to be updates to the avatars and other things. I think it wanted to cater for the Gear VR, so unless everyone has upgraded to the Rift now I'm not sure what's happened to it.
  • JustJohnVRJustJohnVR Posts: 51
    Hiro Protagonist
    They had announced some months before that they were working on an overhaul to the avatar system, but obviously circumstances didn't allow for it in time.
  • LuciferousLuciferous Posts: 2,589 Valuable Player
    They probably have heard rumours of what Oculus and Facebook are building behind the scenes which would have killed their App anyway.
  • KevinakiKevinaki Posts: 222
    Nexus 6
    @Luciferous that probably added to it but there's always room for other apps even if they cover similar ground. I'm one of those people that don't like any of the mainstream social media apps but enjoy using lesser known apps and that's mainly because of the community.
  • kojackkojack Posts: 6,915 Volunteer Moderator
    From what I've read, a patent troll was going after them, and that scared away the VC funding.
    Here's the lawsuit against AltSpaceVR: https://insight.rpxcorp.com/litigation_documents/12511784
    The patent is for a performer and audience interacting with each other in a virtual world.


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  • KevinakiKevinaki Posts: 222
    Nexus 6
    I skimmed through the article and that patent sounds like bullshit. I'm sure someone that has thoroughly read it can confirm or deny that but until then, that's my impression of it. 

    Cymatic Bruce replies to Palmer Luckey's poll on saving AltspaceVR: 
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,661 Valuable Player
    If Palmer saves AltSpace then all the new avatars will be dressed in Drag. Talk about a double-edged sword.
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  • DigitylRiseDigitylRise Posts: 804
    3Jane
    Wow, been too busy with other things in life, and finally got around to checking out some news. And this is what I read. I am very bummed to hear about this. AltSpaceVR is the app I spent most of my time in while being in VR. It became similar to the AOL chat room days, but in a whole new technological era. I had some very interesting conversations, and found it to be my VR -  Social Bar. Many nights would I make a few drinks and just hang out in there as if I was getting away, well, getting away from my wife without getting shit for being out too late and having to find a ride home.

    What's interesting though is, me and my buddy had a conversation with one of the moderators in the room about how they could improve their app. First thing was improving the experience for users. We were in a group of about 6 people discussing ideas, and the main one was about avatar customization. Sure it was only 6 of us, but we all agreed that if they opened up their app for paid DLC to customize our avatars we would all pay for them. However, that didn't go over well with the mod, as he clearly stated that money was not an issue with their service/app, and they were well funded. 

    It seems whatever roadmap they had in mind with their investors didn't come to life as expected. It sure is a bummer. It had potential but I think with all of their events, and the first time Reggie (which I was there) technical difficulties it just wasn't enough to keep it going. But I think we all know that eventually there will be something similar down the line that will be much better - I mean it's basically a necessity to have a VR social center like AltSpace was, but until then it will be missed. 
  • MradrMradr Posts: 4,178 Valuable Player
    edited July 2017
    kojack said:
    From what I've read, a patent troll was going after them, and that scared away the VC funding.
    Here's the lawsuit against AltSpaceVR: https://insight.rpxcorp.com/litigation_documents/12511784
    The patent is for a performer and audience interacting with each other in a virtual world.


    Long as all the code is made by AltSpace VR - why would they be scared? An idea like this has been around for a long time. It also states devices - witch wasn't made by AltSpace but by third parties. I'm not even sure it could even be hold up in court long as all code was written by them in the end. Programming is consider free speech so long as the idea/code written is made by a group of programmers.

    It's one of the big reasons Oculus kind of took a bit hit from the last court case. Some of that was for other reasons - but over all - if the patent doesn't have code related to it - and prove that the code they used is the same as AltSpace - then they really don't have much ground to stand on.

    Sadly, I think copy rights are a good thing - but they need to be revamp for sure. This is getting silly how easy it is to create a patent and sue later for it. We need to add the "You must make a product of your idea with in the first 5 years" claim or be a bit more strick who gets a patent for what - by forcing the patent holder to do research that the idea has never been created or thought up by others already.

    Not much is lost if you go to court with them at this point. I really think AltSpace should just do it - see what the outcome is first - and if they win - counter sue for dragging your name in the mud and scare tactics to destroy a company.

    I'm all for fair - but there are times I really think we need to take a step back and rethink how everything works in this world at some point.
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 16,661 Valuable Player
    edited July 2017
    Mradr said:
    Long as all the code is made by AltSpace VR - why would they be scared? An idea like this has been around for a long time. It also states devices - witch wasn't made by AltSpace but by third parties. I'm not even sure it could even be hold up in court long as all code was written by them in the end. Programming is consider free speech so long as the idea/code written is made by a group of programmers.
    What you're referring to is a "copyright" issue. But the AltSpace legal problem involves a "patent." Those are two distinctly different forms of intellectual property issues. You can't write your own source code to copy someone else's patent. Just like you can't use your own pen to write someone else's book.
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  • KevinakiKevinaki Posts: 222
    Nexus 6
    I think the word of AltspaceVR shutting down sparked Sansar to open up:

    Starting today, anyone can sign up for free at Sansar.com, create their own social VR experiences, and enjoy those others have shared. With the opening of beta, you can now share the links to your experiences to bring audiences into your creations!


  • kevinw729kevinw729 Posts: 5,800 Valuable Player
    2xan55713klf.png
    https://vrawards.aixr.org/
    "The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier: Expanding Interactive Boundaries in Leisure Facilities"
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Home-Immersive-Entertainment-Frontier/dp/1472426959
  • KevinakiKevinaki Posts: 222
    Nexus 6


    I'm sure Luckey spoke with Cymatic Bruce which promoted the poll that most likely relates to this patent: https://www.google.com/patents/US6409599
  • kernowkernow Posts: 733
    Trinity
    One of the things I liked about Altspace was that I could use Perception Neuron with it. One of the very few apps that have any support.

    With patents, they are supposed to be non-obvious. Someone performing in VR should be clearly obvious (and natural inevitability, even through organic interaction), especially when there are years of examples of portrayals of performance existing in VR in media, and, after all, we are talking about a behavior, not a technology, so I'm going to say the patent itself is probably bullshit (should be revoked).
  • Stryker1000Stryker1000 Posts: 489
    Trinity
    not bothered either way ...I don't do social media ..... if I feel the need to meet people I`d rather do it face to face down the fkn pub
  • zork2001zork2001 Posts: 568
    Trinity

    Altspace never really had any useful VR function’s and had nowhere to grow because of that.

    Something like Big Screen Beta already has some use and a lot of room to grow to make that use better. I would be a lot more surprised if an app like that just shut down.

  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 7,937 Valuable Player
    What alternatives are there to Alt Space? 
  • SadGamerDadSadGamerDad Posts: 337
    Trinity
    lovethis said:
    What alternatives are there to Alt Space? 
    VR Chat , vTime come to mind..   I don't know anything about Sansar but others on here do
  • SyrellarisSyrellaris Posts: 1,035
    Wintermute
    I never even heard of it to be honest
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